Reports Report 6510d (Event 6510-2021)

This report has been linked to the following event: Event 6510-2021
NameJillian K
Experience Level2/5
RemarksThis form was really hard to fill out as I was not on the ground when I saw it so I don't know exact location or trajectory and unfortunately only know the approximate time. I was flying into SFO when I saw it above the East Bay (I was situated above the North Bay and saw it out over the East Bay). I had just identified the Richmond bridge below (I was facing slight southwest, mostly west). So I know I was passing over Marin county. I have pictures from the time around that but not of the exact event as I didn't realize what I was seeing at first so didn't think to record it. The fireball was at almost the same height as us in the sky, out over the East Bay. I believed I was looking out over the Berkeley/Oakland hills somewhere but it may have been Berkeley, El Cerrito, or even a bit more north. There was a very bright white light in the sky at the same height as us. At first I thought it was a plane that was coming in/out of OAK airport, but thought it must be facing us for some reason since the light was directly "facing" towards our plane (or so I thought). Then I realized that there were no additional blue/red lights from the "plane" and that it was much brighter and larger than other planes in the sky. After a couple seconds I also noticed a tail on the fireball which grew as it fell. It fell directly down towards the earth (I remember it being straight down towards the earth but there was likely a slight angle to it and I just don't recall which direction it was angled, so I indicated 180⁰ on the form). As the tail grew, the fireball changed colors from bright white to a light green and orange (I don't recall whether the orange or green came first. I just remember seeing both). Then I can't remember if there was a distinct moment that it got especially bright or if it just faded out without a flash. I want to say there was a flash but I truly can't remember. This whole thing probably lasted 5-10 seconds (unfortunately I'm bad at estimating time so it could be a bit longer or shorter). I remember seeing the bright light for a few seconds, thinking it was an airplane so not paying much attention to it, then paying more attention once I gave it a second thought and realized it didn't look like the other planes in the sky. Then the burning out of the fireball lasted a couple seconds. I double checked our landing time and we landed at 9:50PM (after looping around the bay once since we came in from the north but landed from the south). I took my first picture of the Richmond bridge at 9:30PM. By 9:32PM we were passing over SF and I took a picture of the Bay Bridge from above. I believe I saw the fireball right after taking that first picture of the Richmond bridge and I am certain it was before taking the second picture of the Bay Bridge. So it may have been 9:30 or 9:31PM. All I kept thinking afterwards was how cool it was and since it was so "large" (mostly just bright) I was wondering if I'd see any news articles about someone finding a met
Address, CA
Latitude37° 55' 48.57'' N (37.93°)
Longitude 122° 35' 40.03'' W (-122.59°)
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time2021-10-12 21:30 PDT
UT Date & Time2021-10-13 04:30 UT
Moving directionFrom up to down
Descent Angle180°
Facing azimuth97.11°
First azimuth98.78°
First elevation43°
Last azimuth96.26°
Last elevation37°
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude-19
ColorLight Green, Orange, White
Concurrent Sound
Delayed Sound
Persistent train
Terminal flash